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3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:57 pm

"It is a pleasure to meet you again, my Lord." Estefania's voice was pleasant and carried confidence as well as genuine gladness for the meeting. She bowed a little in return, but it was clear that she was less used to the overly proper, the overly dainty and would just as well have considered appearing in the attire she had used in Spain had she not been convinced that the war was indeed over and she should enjoy the nicer sides of the present time.

The fan she had with her seemed to resemble more a weapon in her hands however to a trained eye. She gazed at his companion and nodded again politely. "Pleased to be of acquaintance too, lady Catherine."

Catherine responded in kind and they were then given the lengthy introduction of lady María Inés Manrique de Lara, who was going to marry Captain Burlingame of 15th.

Captain Burlingame greeted them again in turn and it seemed it somehow amused Estefania as all the propriety was a stark contrast of the rough life in the Peninsula during just a short while ago. "I see that the cold air does not do you harm, Major." She studied Torrington with a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. "But there aren't as many bridges to take down here, nor, I suppose, much of the land that would need to be mapped."
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:28 pm

Torrington chuckled ruefully.

"No, I'm afraid soon it will be building bridges and roads again, but for the moment I hope to secure a posting to compile all the maps we did in the peninsula into one compendium. It would be a shame if they were not made accessible to those trying to rebuild your country."

He bowed to Ines and shook Burlingame's hand.

"Señora Ines, Captain, my congratulations. I hope you will find great happiness. Captain Gwydyr informed me that the happy day will be immediately after the performance we volunteered for?"

Turning to his companion, he explained:

"Captain Burlingame serves in the same regiment as your cousin, Lady Cathrine, and has agreed to ride the quadrille as well."

---
James had by now noticed the newcomers as well. As soon as their own conversation was not disrupted by it, James simply offered her arm to Anne to lead her over, thinking that she would probably like to meet the Spanish ladies and that her sister would disapprove of any other behaviour anyway.
---

Bella chuckled.

"Oh, it would be so funny. You know a great deal about birds, don't you? Then you must come riding with us one morning - it is so beautiful in Hyde park when it just begins to dawn and the birds wake up. You really can imagine yourself in the country again."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:47 pm

"Oh, so we can expect your visit to our country soon? After all, we would prefer that our bridges are done by one who knew the old more intimately, than someone who has barely any knowledge of it." She listened to further introductions and it made much more sense now. Lady Catherine was the cousin of Willoughby, or Gwydyr as he had been called since his promotion to cornet and higher.

Ines smiled and nodded, while Burlingame answered. "It is. You are invited to attend it and we would like it , should you be able to come." He did look smitten with the lady under his arm, and so in love that it would be surprising if any organising had been done well of the event.

++

The approach of Anne and James was noticed by lady Catherine who gave a smile to the latter. She saw how happy her sister seemed at the moment and how much more animated than she was usually.

++

"If your brother agrees, I would gladly accompany you and I shall bring my cousins, should you wish for more company." He offered, smiling warmly. "I know some about birds, " He said humbly. "But I am but an amateur. " He was quite glad however that he could be of help with what knowledge he had. "Do you enjoy seeing them?" He inquired. "And.. I know it might be a bit silly to ask but...birds of pray, little singers or the more exotic and colourful. Which, My lady, is your preference?"
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  John Vickery on Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:45 am

"Who are you dancing the next with?" Vickery enquired of his sister as they completed their circuit of the room - so many people! It was as though it were the height of the Season, and not merely the Little Season, there were so many people here this evening.

Which meant, of course, that a great many people had witnessed the disagreement of earlier on in the evening, of course.

"I have a waltz with Lord Torrington," Emma said, consulting her dance card. "Is that the next dance, though? I do declare, I am quite at a stand as to what is going on."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:43 am

[OOC: I would suggest one more formal dance, which we do not need to play out, before the walz.]

"It will be my pleasure, Captain."

After that, the conversation drifted to the particulars of the wedding, until people started to drift inside again for the second half of the dancing.

-----

James acknowledged her chaperonage with a bow of his head, and after proper introductions, began to draw Estefania into a conversation with him and Anna. Fortunately the night sky, the constellations and their names and the different views to be had at different latitudes offered an excellent topic for conversation.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:02 am

Catherine might have enjoyed to see a wedding but she mostly listened, while Estefania would have certainly preferred to talk of things more entertaining and perhaps she had had to hear about it often enough , being a friend of the bride.

She equally seemed less inclined towards the stars as they were far and albeit some were useful to the orientation even on land, their names were different in her language so half the time she did not know what he was talking about anyway. The rest she noted that it seemed a little as if she were in the way of them, even if she had not been the one to draw closer.

She glanced from the pair to Burlingame and Ines and then towards Torrington. She noted the two at the very edge of the balcony and then unfurled her fan to wave it infront of her face while she stifled a yawn. A perfect save, it also offered for a rather lovely view, where eyes were all that was seen of the lady's face, and the rest gave it an air of mystery.

"Lord Torrington.."She interrupted briefly.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:04 pm

As soon as it was possible to do so without offending Ines, Torrington immediately turned to her.

"Senhora da Almaida?"

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:13 pm

"I know it is not quite the custom, but may I invite you to a dance, that is, our local one that we are to perform soon. " She smiled warmly. "I think you have seen it before, if not danced the exact one back in Spain."
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:22 pm

Torrington quickly tried to remember all Spanish dances he knew.

"It would be my pleasure, should you really wish to stand up with me for it. There certainly are more graceful dancers who know the steps much better than I do. What do you intent to dance?"

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:33 pm

"We are still deciding between a Fandango and a Sevillana. Though most lean more towards the first." She laughed softly, her fan easily slipping back in its place, since she did not think she would need it. "Had I wanted the other dancers, sir, I would not have asked it of you. I do believe you are speaking humbly of your skills when you need not. " She smiled again, her eyes appearing thoughtful for a moment.

"I might only need to show you how the castanets are held and played, or do you still remember?" She arched an inquisitive brow.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:52 pm

"I remember mostly the mess I made of them the first time you showed me ..."

He smiled ruefully.

"I don't suppose there is time for a bit of practice? I'm afraid I haven't had the pleasure to dance this particular dance since we were in Freneida last winter."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:04 am

"You were not too bad for never having played them. Practice does make perfect of course." Estefania looked quite merry and amused, but in a positive way so. "If you would like to practice, be it dance or the castanets you ought only tell me if you have a dance during which you are free, and if it is before our own, we can do a few steps. I shall even ask Lady Ines and captain Burlingame, should they have time and willingness to assist."

She smiled brightly and with less weight on her mind than she had all the time in Spain. The war ending was indeed a merry affair. "Though since you have danced it before, it will come to you easy and fast. Sir. You are much more able that you give yourself credit for."
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:37 am

"I hope for your sake that you are not misguided in your praise of my abilities ...", Torrington answered doubtfully.

"I'm afraid I am promised for all dances in question, though, unless one of the young ladies has decided to leave the ball already."

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:48 am

"Then, is there a time, such as now..that might allow for refreshments, or... I do not know how your balls are organised." She said softly, knowing only as much as she was told and for as many similarities as she could find.

"Though, I praise not, I only evaluate of how I have seen you dance, major." She wondered if Catherine would have been willing to allow for a bit of practice or perhaps even join in it. She was indeed welcome. She glanced at her curiously then turned back to Torrington. "Dancing this is certainly easier than map making,.. and you have mastered that, or am I mistaken?" She looked quite innocent as she asked this, though barely keeping a straight face.

Catherine, who had listened to the conversation, looked quite entertained as well. "Come, Lord, I would be curious to see it done. Privileged, if ahead of the others." She chuckled.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:54 am

"I'm afraid mastery there took me several years of study! Gwydyr, will you join us? It seems there will be an impromptu dancing lesson ..."

He glanced at Bella, indicating with a slight jerk of his head that he expected her to be somewhere visible, even when he danced - he had not failed to notice that she was spending quite some time with Willoughby.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:00 am

"If Lady Isabella should wish so, I will gladly." Willoughby answered, not as eager to part with their nice and quiet spot, where he had been able to quite nicely converse with Bella. Of course he had not dared suggest that they go elsewhere.

"Shall we go somewhere less in the open then?" He asked, seeing as Ines was invited by Estefania and Burlingame seemed only hopeful that he might not do a terrible job at it himself.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:10 am

"I believe, as long as we do not want to appropriate a room not opened up to the public, this is the most private spot with decent flooring that we can find", Torrington replied, looking around. Most of the other couples had already left and gone inside again.

"We do not have much time either. - If we start to search for a room, there might be not enough time to do more."

Isabella pulled Willoughby forward eagerly.

"Oh yes, show us, please? I would love to see how it is done, and perhaps learn for myself, if Lady da Almaida would be willing to show me?"

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:54 am

Willoughby had no choice, but to follow, though he was willing enough. Almeida nodded and then began to explain the steps quickly, while Ines and Burlingame served as examples. Lady Catherine wished to observe so that she might see how it is done before she would move and had no idea at all about that dance. Thus Estefania asked to borrow Torrington, and told Willoughby where he ought to stand as well.

"Are you ready for the first few?...I am afraid that teaching properly as should be done, would take longer than we have, but..." She bowed her head to Lady Isabella. ".. if another time you wish to learn more of this one, and others that I know, we can arrange it." She smiled, ready to begin just those steps she had explained to the party and see if Torrington still remembered them in practice.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  John Vickery on Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:06 am

"No, look, there's the boulangeries next," Vickery told Emma, pointing out the dance on her card.

"So there is. How silly of me not to have noticed that," Emma replied, and let the card dangle from its ribbon again. "Shall we continue our promenade, then?"

Vickery smiled, nodded, and offered his arm to her again.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:28 am

He did - more or less. Fortunately with a nudges in the right direction, it became rather more. At the beginning he was terribly stiff, though, as he often was when he was not sure what to do exactly, and Bella bit her lip not to giggle. She thanked Estefania and then studied the steps - it looked rather fun.

Soon however, a youthful swain came in search for her to lead her to the next dance, and Torrington had to excuse himself to find his own partner.

"I will find you for our dance, Senhora - if you still want to put up with me then?"

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:41 am

Estefania smiled and bowed. "Indeed, my mind is unchanged, Major. And worry not about the castanets. With the sound everybody else shall be making, even if yours might not be as quick, everybody will believe you are just as everybody else." She had said her farewells also to Bella, complimenting her on the speed at which she learned the steps and the grace she was able to show, with them. She could, given time, do well in this one too.

"It was a pleasure to meet you again." She said to Lord Torrington smiling again. Catherine had enjoyed the show and seemed closer to the end to have dared to even try a few of the steps and now she was soon to be whisked away by her next dancer.

Timothy, who seemed to not have had a partner for that one, asked Estefania, while Anne bid her farewells rather unwillingly to James, but hoped she would see him again.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Timothy Willoughby on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:46 am

Willoughby lead Estefania well enough through the dance. He whispered a step to her when she faltered, or guided her with his arm in the right direction, always quick enough to make certain that she would not miss a step or run into someone else by accident.

They talked amiably as well, about horses mostly, partially about Spain and Portugal, in another part they conversed about the changes that came now, that the war was over. When he was confident that she knew her steps, he just danced with her.

Anne had found her new dancepartner and strayed a bit further from Willoughby, but not much from her sister, who also had her own companion for the dance. At one point their parents came to watch the dance as well, hand in hand and looking quite content.

Willoughby's grandfather remained in the other room, though he probably more enjoyed the company of his friends than any particular attempt at cards.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:52 am

Lady Rose had been hand in hand of another of the gentlemen, this time a relative of hers who had asked for her assistance in being introduced to some of the eligable ladies. She had done her job well so far. But for the present dance, He had shared the company of several ladies of which some were good friends of hers and others acquaintances that she considered interesting for her cousin.

They also exchanged a conversation, though it was mostly he, who was talking, and she who listened. She asked a question or two, smiled and offered small bits of advice, wishing indeed all the best for her cousin but as well for her friends. Her poise was elegant and controlled, and when she moved she seemed almost more to glide than step, having been attended by an excellent dance instructor. She did not allow herself a fault or err, but strived to do as well as she could, and practice to be even better.
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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Edward Torrington on Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:29 am

James bowed rather formally to Anne and requested permission from Cathrine and her to call on them in the following days before retiring - if he had hoped that he could sit out the next dance, however, he was to be disappointed. Bella without any apparent effort set him up with another of her friends - not that he really minded.

In fact he enjoyed the dance quite a lot - his partner was gracious enough not to comment on the few missteps he made, and none of them ended on her toes - and he was quite sure that he would enjoy the next one as well. After all, he was going to walz with one of the prettiest girls in the room - and he was sure that was not only the view of a partial cousin.

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Re: 3rd October 1814, All the Gaiety of a Ball

Post  Allhands on Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:59 am

Before Anne could answer in haste, Catherine did, but with a much calmer and more composed tone. With a acceptable amount of words she said what Anne was thinking. That they would be glad to have his acquaintance again, and that he was permitted to call on them. She did not feel it necessary to say that Anne would be accompanied as he seemed like a man who respected proper decorum. Anne thanked James again and was then lead away by her new partner, her sister following. They would both have partners for that dance and many others. The evening was proving rather fruitful and enjoyable, which was just a little bit of surprise, considering it was just the little season.
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